Changing annoying processes


Some things in life are just annoying and you simply have to deal with it. But companies come with different solutions to change the perception those annoying processes. Here are some awesome ideas from traffic that are great in changing behavior.

Waiting time

This story actually came up to me when I was at the Empire State Building. Everybody warns you for the waiting times there, but I came into the building and there was a very short waiting line, I was lucky! After going through the first line, there was a second line, buying the ticket. Unfortunately, this took me a lot of time. I could see the sun going down and I really wanted to see the sunset, but that should be achievable. Then I had to walk a bit and then I walked into the third line, for the elevator. And that wasn’t the last line. Eventually, I missed the sunset, but still enjoyed the view.

It was a really annoying process since it was so unclear what the actual waiting time was. When you finish the queue, you just jump into another one, not knowing how much more there are coming. Queues are just some we have to deal with from time to time, but a couple of things annoy us: The uncertainty of the length, other lines going faster or no clue why there is a waiting line. By simply communicating a waiting line can be much more pleasant.

A lot of traffic light use countdown red lights to take away the uncertainty of the waiting time. Only in it seems that some people didn’t get the idea of the countdown red light and made a green light. So people will actually speed up in order to get the green light.


Another great example of changing perception. We used to have only speed limit signs and speed cameras. Then the speed limit signs were changed into green smileys and red smileys. The smileys actually have a better effect on the driving behavior of the driver. But in Germany, they come up with an even better idea. They introduced the Speeding ticket Lottery. The idea is simple: all fines from speeding go into one big jar. Everyone that obeyed the traffic rules have a chance of winning that lottery jar. Once it reaches a threshold, it is being paid to one lucky save the driver. So the drivers have a choice, pay a fine and get a few second earlier on your destination or a change on a million euro. (If someone knows the sign and can make me a picture, I will be very grateful).

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